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Hibernian claimed a fourth consecutive SWPL Cup trophy after a 4-2 penalty shoot out win against old rivals Glasgow City. In what would be a first ever SWPL Cup Final shoot out it would be Hibs keeper Jenna Fife who would prove to be the here saving as she did from Hayley Lauder and Clare Shine after a compelling 120 minutes of action.
In front of a record crowd of 983 chances were at a premium and it would be Grant Scott’s side that would have the best of them in the first period but not before Fife would make an excellent double save from City striker Shine after just two minutes. Hibs though started to take control. First good cross field work from Amy Gallacher and Kirsty Morrison saw the ball played into the area for Jamie-lee Napier who’s volley was comfortably saved by Erin Clachers in the City goal. Eignht minutes later it would be Rachael Small who would have the opportunity to put her side in the lead getting on the end of a Colette Cavanagh cross on to see her header go just over the bar.
Both coaches fluidity in their approach made for a fascinating tactical battle as the second half continued with Scott Booth’s side starting the quicker and Fife in the Hibernian goal having to be quick off her line on a number of occasions whilst Small and captain Joelle Murray were just two of the numerous Hibs bodies to block goal bound City efforts. Both sides made changes as they searched for the opener but extra time soon had an air of inevitability about it as two of Scottish Women’s footballs heavyweights continued to slug it out.
Extra time came and went and whilst the game began to open up as legs tired and positions became stretched neither side was able to fashion that golden opportunity that would make the trophy theirs with both sides so evenly matched with Hibernian in particular digging in as the final whistle loomed. However with no score It would come down to penalties and it would be Scotland squad goalkeeper Jenna Fife that would emerge the hero. After the stopper denied Lauder and Shine it was left to Cailin Michie to seal victory for the Hibees which she duly obliged with cooly putting the ball past Clachers meaning the Edinburgh side moved level with their Glasgow rivals in having won 6 SWPL Cup trophies.
After the match I heard from an ecstatic Jamie-lee Napier, Hibs Head Coach Grant Scott and Glasgow City Head Coach Scott Booth after what was a keenly fought contest.
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